You’re going to need cucumbers and not just any cucumber. It has to be the greatest cucumber in the city. Other shoppers are looking at you with worry as you prod, squeeze, measure, and sniff your way through your alternatives. But, at long last, you’ve discovered it! You march boldly to the checkout line, triumphantly swipe your debit card, and stroll confidently out of the store.
You believe that you have the greatest cucumber in town. But do you believe it? Can you be sure since you didn’t walk to the farm stand a mile past the water tower or ask your green-thumb neighbor how her garden is doing? You’ll never know for sure because you didn’t examine every cucumber. Welcome to the present condition of the Supreme Court nomination process in the United States.
Although Jackson has had some critical opinions reversed on appeal, it looks unlikely that she would mutate into Justice Sotomayor’s intellectual monster. It should also be emphasized that Presidents attempt to choose ideologically similar judges to the court. Jackson’s appointment did entail another appointment to the critical DC circuit appeals court, so there were other political considerations at work.
The selection of Jackson to the New Orleans court reminds me of the Prime Minister. It is discovered that the establishment’s preferred choice has held multiple prominent ecclesiastical posts but has never been “an average vicar in a parish.” Good legal schools (as well as attorneys and judges who don’t travel Amtrak every day) may exist.
Therefore South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham reacted angrily to the announcement, criticizing the Harvard-Yale railway. J. Michelle Childs, a fellow South Carolinian, was also a contender for the role. The pressure to “keep it in the family” must have been intense. Childs was also the much-preferred candidate, presumably as a condition of support in the state’s decisive primary.